I have been searching the web for nearly a year now for HS information and every now and again I do another search in the hope I may find something "new". Today I was delighted to find your pages and especially the visitor's book with remarks from fellow sufferers which made me feel so much better about the way I feel.

I have been a chronic HS victim for a few years now and despite much sympathy from 27 those in the medical profession - no ACTION. I visited a Naturapath nearly 2 months ago who put me on a "natural" diet and some homeopathic-type pills with ingredients you'd expect in a witches brew! The results so far have been very good and I can finally sleep uninterrupted and the swelling has nearly disappeared. So for the first time in years I am not in pain every second of the day... with the power of positive thinking I hope this will continue.

I'm a white male born 1962 in New Zealand (South Pacific Ocean). Fairly normal childhood in clean, green NZ. Mum, Dad and my 2 younger brothers went on a trip to California to visit an aunt in 1972. We sailed on the Canberra via Tonga, Hawaii and Vancouver. During this 6 month stay in USA I developed boils on my behind and thighs which were like volcanoes -very painful and not much fun for a 10 year old who had never really been sick before. One after another after another for months. It was thought I had contracted some tropical bug in Tonga. I don't know if it was HS then but no doctor we visited in California could diagnose what it was and tried different antibiotics, penicillin, etc. (I don't remember any exact details). Finally we went to see a specialist who prescribed something which worked almost immediately and the problem appeared to go away. I remember having these "boils" again maybe twice or three times during my teenage years. I had no acne problem as a teen, just normal zits. Later on, I would have been 22 or 23... I had what the doc tor said was an abscess on my bum "probably from stress, bad diet or too much drinking or something" which healed with a course of antibiotics. This "thing" recurred from time to time for the next few years without any treatment. At the same time I got a pimple in my armpit which was never painful but seemed to fill up with a clear yellow fluid from time to time. I never really took much notice of it.

To be honest I wish I had, but I was too busy having a fun time. I spent from 23-29 travelling the world - I visited over 40 countries and it was a fantastic experience... When I arrived back in NZ in 1991 all hell broke loose. It was like someone or something had said "the party's over sunshine - your lifes gonna be like shit from now on!!"

My armpit swelled up like a tennis ball and my groin got worse and worse. Over the next couple of years it just spread to the point where I couldn't move without feeling like I had been stabbed with a hot knife.

Minocycline kept it in check - apart from the odd flare up - for about a year. Then last summer I was almost suicidal as it all erupted again. A double dose of Minocycline simmered this down but since then I knew it was just in a holding pattern and any minute it would spark up again and where would that leave me

I don't know what has caused this terrible condition in me - we have no immediate family history of it or any other connections. I'm not really overweight either. One thing I have puzzled over is that when I was a teen and into my early 20's, I used to suffer from allergies (sneezing and runny nose, etc.) Then after I left NZ for those 7 years, these allergies pretty well went away - then I returned and this bloody thing erupted (could be something in the "air" my body rejects ??) but I don't suffer from hayfever or the sneezing fits from dust or pollen etc anymore - I can't help thinking this is somehow connected.

I wish my life was more normal. I wish I could play cricket again. I wish I didn't have to cover up all the time. I wish I could take my shirt off at the beach. I wish I could look forward to the future. I wish my son could climb on me.

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